Asia Pacific Society of Human Genetics: A Brief Introduction
Professor Thong Meow-Keong
President, Asia Pacific Society of Human Genetics 2012-2014
The Asia Pacific Society of Human Genetics (APSHG) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2006, comprising persons involved or interested in the study of human genetics in the Asia Pacific Region. The membership which include scientists, clinical geneticists, genetic counselors and students, has steadily increased over the past 8 years and it welcomes members from all the major countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Prior to the formation of the APSHG, the members of the human genetics fraternity held the First Asia Pacific Conference on Human Genetics (APCHG) in July, 1994 in Bangkok, Thailand. This was organized by Professors Suthat Fucharoen & Pornswan Wasant and the event was supported by Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand & International Center for Medical Research, Kobe University, Japan. This informal grouping of medical and human geneticists then held regularly regional conferences with the 2nd APCHG and 3rd APCHG conferences held in Jakarta, Indonesia (1995) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1996), respectively. Due to the economic crisis in 1997, the conference was postponed. In October 2000, the 4th APCHG was held in conjunction with the 3rd HUGO Pacific meeting in Shanghai China. Following the success of the Shanghai meeting, this APCHG-HUGO Pacific joint conference was followed by biennial meetings in Bangkok, Thailand (2002), Singapore (2004), Taipei, Taiwan (2006) and Cebu, the Philippines (2008). By 2010, the APSHG held the 9th APCHG by itself in Hong Kong (2010) and 10th APCHG in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2012).
The inaugural meeting of the Asia Pacific Society of Human Genetics was held on November 12, 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand and the APSHG was registered in Singapore on February 17, 2006. The APSHG was accepted as Full Member of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies (IFHGS) on August 6, 2006 in Brisbane, Australia during the 11th International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG)
The founding members are:
- Hong Kong (China) (Chen Zhu & Stephen Lam)
- Indonesia (Sangkot Marzuki & Herawati Sudoyo)
- Malaysia (M Nizam Isa & Thong Meow-Keong )
- Philippines (Carmencita Padilla & Eva Maria Cutiongco-De La Paz)
- Singapore (Lai Poh-San & Ivy Ng )
- Taiwan (ROC) (Chen Yuan-Tsong & Paul Hwu Wuh-Liang)
- Thailand (Suthat Fucharoen & Pornswan Wasant)
The principal objectives of the Society are:
- To promote research in basic and applied human and medical genetics
- To integrate professional and public education in all areas of human genetics.
- To provide a forum where scientists can share their research findings as well as increase or spread knowledge and understanding of of human genetics among the various professionals including health professionals, health policy makers, legislators and the general public.
Some of the events held by the APSHG include setting up a Working Group on Consolidating Newborn Screening, training workshops on birth defects surveillance and dysmorphology and co-hosting the Federation of Asia Oceania Biochemistry and Molecular Biology conference.
Pic 1: First Asia Pacific Conference on Human Genetics (APCHG) in July, 1994 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Pic 2: The inaugural meeting of the Asia-Pacific Society of Human Genetics was held on November 12, 2005. Front row (from L to R): Suthat Fucharoen, M Nizam Isa, Sangkot Marzuki, Carmencita Padilla, Pornswan Wasant, Leslie Chia (legal counsel); Back row (from L to R): Chen YT, Eva Cutiongco de La Paz, Stephen Lam, Thong Meow-Keong, Damayanti, Ivy Ng, Paul Hwu.
Pic 3: The 8th APCHG-HUGO Pacific conference, Cebu, Philippines (from L to R): Thong Meow Keong, Lai Poh-San, Eva Cutiongco de La Paz, Pornswan Wasant, Stephen Lam, Carmencita Padilla, Sangkot Marzuki.
Pic 4: The 9th APCHG, Hong Kong (from L to R): Brian Chung, Tiong Tan, Tony Tong, WK Chan, Ivan Lo, Stephen Lam, Ronald Wang, Richard Choy, Priscilla Poon, Wai-yee Chan, Mary Tang
Pic 5: The 10th APCHG Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia December 2012. From R to L: Carmencita Padilla (Past President), Stephen Lam (Immediate Past President), Lai Poh-San (Vice-President), Thong Meow- Keong (President), Law Hai-Yang (Treasurer), Vu Chi Dung (Organizing Chairman, 11th APCHG 2014). Not in picture: Eva Maria Cutiongco de la Paz (Secretary)
Pic 6: Current and past exco members APSHG 2012-2014 and country representatives. Photo taken during 10th APCHG Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 6-8th December 2012